Book: The Book of Whispers by Kimberley Starr
Release Date: October 3rd 2016 (set to be rereleased in 2018)
Tags: Fantasy / Historical / Demons / Young Adult
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Tuscany, 1096 AD. Luca, young heir to the title of Conte de Falconi, sees demons. Since no one else can see them, Luca must keep quiet about what he sees.
Luca also has dreams—dreams that sometimes predict the future. Luca sees his father murdered in one such dream and vows to stop it coming true. Even if he has to go against his father’s wishes and follow him on the great pilgrimage to capture the Holy Lands.
When Luca is given an ancient book that holds some inscrutable power, he knows he’s been thrown into an adventure that will lead to places beyond his understanding. But with the help of Suzan, the beautiful girl he rescues from the desert, he will realise his true quest: to defeat the forces of man and demon that wish to destroy the world.
Sometimes I browse Netgalley. I don’t do it often, but when I do my eye sometimes stumbles on some titles. Of course with a title like The Book of Whispers there was no way that was going to escape my attention. Also the cover I found very eye catching. Unfortunately the book could not quite live up to it.
If I had to describe my reading experience of The Book of Whispers in one word it would be boring. I was bored for most of the book. Especially the start of the book really had nothing that drew me in except the mention of demons. The demons were interesting. The book was interesting. But it stayed with that. It lacked depth. Who created the book for instance? While it slightly picked up after the introduction of another character to the main story line it still could not hook me. I think for me that was because of the pacing, the writing style and the characters.
The pacing just felt off. There would be portions of the story that would go on and on like the camping, but the actual traveling flew past as did the sieges of the cities though they were just the backdrops. There were also events that were important to the story that would fly by in a page while the love conversation could get a few pages.
Added to that was that the writing style is very simple. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that as long as you make every word count. If you do that a simplistic writing style can really draw a reader into a story. But in this case that failed. I missed details of the surroundings. I didn’t feel like we were specifically in that time period for instance. There was no feel in this book. There were just simple words that couldn’t sway me left or right. Added to that, at some point the chapters would switch between our two main characters within the chapters with first person point of view. It kept drawing me out of the story.
Which brings us to the characters. Initially I thought Luca could be interesting but that never came to be. He didn’t truly change. There was little growth in him. He was a brash and stubborn kid and even when he became conte there was very little change to that. Suzan did spice things up a little. Unfortunately there was a forced romantic relationship there with some ‘troubles’ of course. As for Suzan, she could have been a great character if she had been worked out better. There is a lot around her, concerning twists, but in the end that didn’t quite get wrapped up. In fact, it almost felt like these things are kept open for a chance for a next book.